The total crypto market cap saw a boost of $130 million over the course of Tuesday night. If you’re wondering who to thank for this, it’s surprisingly Janet Yellen, United States Treasury Secretary. Either her or whoever leaked her statement regarding Biden’s new executive order on digital assets a day early.
There was an attempt to pull Yellen’s statement off the internet almost as quickly as it arrived, with publishers immediately realizing the error. Of course, they weren’t fast enough to keep the public from latching onto statements within the piece, which suggested the Executive Order would “result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses” by supporting “responsible innovation.” (Barrons)
The Executive Order itself, which was released and signed by President Biden on Wednesday, is referred to as the “first-ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.” The fact sheet, which you can read here, paints a clear picture for regulation that appears to be both thoughtful and promising, focusing on protecting consumers, growing innovation, and exploring the potential for CBDCs. To boil it down, the government seems to be taking ownership over the space, acknowledging the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies amongst the American people, and recognizing the need to be leaders in the digital asset space.
After months of waiting for any sort of crypto regulatory framework in a rapidly inflating economy, this order admits the need for an evolving stance toward crypto, which is nothing short of a godsend. The CPI is set to reach 7.9% in the coming months and a recent study from LendingClub shows that a whopping 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck since January of 2022. Wage growth metrics aren’t keeping up with rising inflation, leaving citizens high and dry.
Anuj Nayar, Financial Health Officer at LendingClub, spoke to the causation behind the report’s data, saying: “We are all seeing the cost of everything shooting up…You’ve got to eat, you’ve got to commute; these are not discretionary expenses.” Nayar is echoing the sentiments of a nation, with gas prices reaching over $6 in some states. It’s so expensive that people are making memes about it, comparing prices to those imagined for the post-apocalyptic film I Am Legend. (CNBC)
All of this considered, it’s no shock that citizens found cause to rejoice in Secretary Yellen’s leaked statement and hopeful messaging. In its closing paragraph, Yellen’s statement touches on concepts that feel rooted in the core values of crypto, including promoting “a fairer, more inclusive, and more efficient financial system, while building on our ongoing work to counter illicit finance, and prevent risks to financial stability and national security." Equality and trustless security—what could be more blockchain than that? (U.S. Treasury Department)
On a separate but related note, the U.S.Treasury also announced plans to educate the country on cryptocurrencies through a new education division. This initiative is driven by a team of 20 different agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of whom will work to execute these efforts. Nellie Liang, Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, acknowledged that more education “would be helpful.”
Like anything else, to maximize accessibility and ensure safe adoption practices, education is crucial. “We’re hearing more and more about investors and households who are purchasing crypto assets,” said Liang, “and we recognize the complexity of how some of these assets operate.” The Treasury hopes to foster crypto inclusivity while still protecting less savvy investors by helping mitigate this complexity and giving investors the foundational knowledge they need to participate in the future of finance. (Cointelegraph)
All of this should keep Bitcoin busy for a while, but investors are keeping their eyes on the charts to see just how high the asset can climb surrounding the news. Either way, altcoins continue to reap the benefits of Bitcoin’s hike, keeping the market on many assets up and to the right. This momentum is aided by new and exciting crypto projects launching to support spaces like the Metaverse and Web3, with things like Avalanche’s Multiverse Program and Cake DeFi Ventures' $100 million dollar venture sector that focuses on “investing in tech startups across Web3, the metaverse, the NFT space, gaming, esports, and fintech spaces.” (Cointelegraph)
With the government on board, crypto finds an exciting new chapter in American history. It’s hard not to feel excitement and anticipation when reading through the order details because this feels like a turning point. We, as a country, are finally getting the resources needed to maximize crypto’s economic potential. For those holding their breath waiting for the new CPI numbers, this should serve as a welcomed reason to exhale. As bright as the future of crypto already is, the promise of national leadership and innovation in the space only makes it brighter.
Top Market Movers as of March 11, 2022
- Waves (WAVES) +34.6%
- Zcash (ZEC) +28.5%
- ICON (ICX) +21%
- Horizon (ZEN) +8.6%
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